1. During His ministry Jesus showed that a person's soul is his most valuable possession. 2. He made this point on one occasion by asking two questions (Matthew 16:26). 3. Because our souls are so valuable we must give careful attention to saving them. 4. For several weeks we have been studying some important Bible subjects that relate to "the salvation of our souls," including: a. the grace of God b. the death of Christ c. hearing God's Word d. believing that Jesus is the Son of God e. repentance. 5. We have shown how these subjects relate to those who desire to be saved as well as to those who have been saved. 6. In this lesson we are examining passages that relate to "confession." 7. The first point we need to make is that . . .
I. "CONFESSION" IS A KEY COMPONENT OF THE PLAN OF SALVATION
A. Some important details relating to confession are revealed in Romans 10:9-10. 1. The means of confession is "with the mouth." a. This implies that a statement is made. b. The statement made with the mouth reveals something that is believed in the heart. 2. The content of confession is "the Lord Jesus." a. The person making the confession must believe in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead. b. This is important because Jesus was "declared to be the Son of God with power" by His resurrection from the dead (Romans 1:4). 3. The purpose of confession us "unto salvation." a. Confession is an essential part of the plan of salvation. b. However, the plan of salvation does not only consist of believing and confessing that Jesus is God's Son. c. Repentance and baptism are also required (Acts 2:38). B. The conversion of the eunuch illustrates how confession relates to salvation (Acts 8:35-38). C. These passages clearly teach that "confession" is a part of the Lord's plan of salvation; however, . . .
II. "CONFESSIONS" ARE ALSO REQUIRED OF CHRISTIANS [Those who have been saved]
A. Those who have been saved must continue to confess Christ. 1. We must confess Christ before men so He will confess us before the Father (Matthew 10:32-33). 2. Hindrances to confessing Christ include: a. fear (John 9:18-23) b. love for the praise of men (John 12:42-43). 3. According to 1 John 4:15, confessing Jesus as God's Son shows that God dwells in us and that we dwell in God. B. Those who have been saved must confess their sins. 1. Some important principles are revealed in Proverbs 28:13. a. Those who cover up or conceal their sins will not prosper in God's sight. b. Those who confess and forsake their sins will receive mercy. 2. "Healing" is associated with confessing faults to others (James 5:16a). 3. "Forgiveness" is associated with confessing sins to God (1 John 1:8-10). C. Finally, let us receive some encouragement from several . . .
III. BIBLE CHARACTERS WHO CONFESSED THEIR FAITH IN GOD THROUGH THEIR ACTIONS
A. Joseph abstained from committing adultery (Genesis 39:7-12). B. David accepted Goliath's challenge (1 Samuel 17:44-48). C. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow before Nebuchadnezzar's image of gold (Daniel 3:14-18). D. Daniel prayed, even though it was illegal (Daniel 6:6-10). E. Stephen looked to Jesus as he was killed and prayed for his enemies (Acts 7:54-60). F. Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises in prison (Acts 16:22-25).
1. Do you believe that Jesus is God's Son? 2. Will you allow that belief to move you to repent? 3. Are you willing to confess your belief? 4. Upon your confession, will you submit to baptism to receive the Lord's forgiveness?